Guess who's demanding to have a kid's high school passing record wiped from the books?
The kid who set it.
Hang on to your Barcalounger for a second. You're about to get all your cynicism about sports stuck right in your ear.
Go back two weeks. In the last high school game of his life, Nate Haasis, a 17-year-old quarterback at Southeast High in Springfield, Ill. is losing to Cahokia High 36-20 with 22 seconds left. It's a lousy Saturday because he's also going to fall 29 yards short of the Central State Eight conference career passing record. Cahokia has the ball. Southeast is out of timeouts. Fans are packing up.
Except now Southeast coach Neal Taylor is meeting with Cahokia coach Antwyne Golliday at midfield. When play resumes, the ball is snapped and the Southeast defenders have their hands inside their jerseys, allowing Cahokia to cover the 28 yards to the end zone like 11 guys on a morning jog.
Cahokia kicks off out-of-bounds. Eight seconds left. Nate and his offense take the field. The coaches are screaming at Nate, "This is for you! This is for you!"
What's for me? Nate wonders. Then he sees that no Cahokia players are within 20 yards of the line of scrimmage. "That's when I knew something was up," Nate admits.
He throws a five-yard pass to his receiver, Jacque Robinson, who is so alone he must think his deodorant has failed. He runs directly to the spot where Taylor is standing on the sideline yelling, "Run to here!" It's a 37-yard gain. Nate has the record. Game's over.
It was a setup, a fix, a last-second favor from one coach to another to get a good kid a big record. High tens all around.
But it poked up under Nate's pillow that night, soured his cereal the next morning, whispered in his ear during class that Monday. "I kept thinking of the guy who had the record before me," Nate says. "I mean, his teammates fought for every yard he got. And then I get mine this way? It just seemed wrong."